In the past, I’ve spoken many times about the key to effective selling and have encouraged you to identify what was your ‘unique selling proposition’ (USP). It had you thinking about what made you different from everyone else in your industry and what would make your business stand out in a world of competitors. For a whole host of reasons, I’ve decided to encourage you all again to take a look at this. When it comes to developing a unique point of difference for your business, it’s impossible to give one-size-fits-all advice, because WE are all different and so are our businesses.

In saying that, there are certainly some ‘best practices’ that work across marketplaces and that any business owner can apply to make their unique selling proposition worthwhile.

So let’s briefly recap, to sum it up, your USP is a brief description of the purpose of your business, stated in a compelling way, to get others to understand the value of what you do. A good USP, tells people what you do, gives your buyers a reason why your product or service is different and better than your competitors, in a manner that gets them to ask how and why you do it. It leaves people wanting to know more.

But remember, before you can begin to sell your product or service, you have to be able to sell yourself on it. Truth be told, very few businesses are one-of-a-kind, just take a look around you, look at the number of electricians, hardware stores, plumbers, designers, cafe’s and coaches are out there. Pinpointing your USP requires time, some hard soul-searching, a bit of a reality check and some creativity.

To get your creative juices flowing, analyse how other companies use their USPs to their advantage. Do a bit of research and careful analysis of some of the big brands advertising and marketing messages. If you analyse what they say they sell, not just their product or service characteristics, you can learn a lot about how companies distinguish themselves from competitors. Here’s some USP’s I found, and I’d be happy to bet that once you read each one that you’ll know exactly which company the USP belongs to (unless of course you’ve been living under a rock with no exposure to TV, radio or internet, in which case, I’m sorry)

You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free

The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand

When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight

Just Do It

Think Different

Because You’re Worth It

The Ultimate Driving Machine

Once you pop, you can’t stop

And of course then, there’s these classics….

There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard

For a hard earned thirst, you need a big cold beer, and the best cold beer is Vic, Victoria Bitter

Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.

Some of these messages really connect with us on a particular level (especially us females). Cosmetic and alcohol companies are great examples of industries that know the value of tapping into the psychologically of a USP, because people buy these products based on their desires (for pretty women, for hard working men, luxury, glamour and so on), not on their needs. Regardless of who you are or what your business sells, developing a strong USP that your target market can quickly identify with, will have you connecting with the right people. So when you are putting together your USP, consider the following:

-What do I do that no one else does?
-What is unique about my business?
-What is my unique story? (e.g. product selection, service standards, staff training)
-How can this be made different from my competitors?
-What’s the biggest problem/challenge I solve for my customers?

Then consider your customers:

-What does your customer REALLY want?
-What need or want are they really trying to satisfy?
-What is the main reason my customers buy from me?
-What can I do to match or exceed those expectations?
-What can I do to make sure the customer gets what they want?
-How do I want my customers to feel?

Too often, business owners and entrepreneurs fall in love with their product or service and forget that it’s the customers’ needs, not their own, that they need to connect with and satisfy.

So I’m curious….. What makes you so different?

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